Tristan and Iseult - Week 4
So, March - and NaNo - is nearly over, and progress on Tristan and Iseult... well, it progresses. Apace.
Ren - despite starting with only ten days to go thanks to previous commitments, and working through overtime at her job, has now finished all the lineart for the game and only has the colouring to go. She insists that I mention that 'corners have been cut', but I'm pretty impressed with her output all the same! I've finished writing the first three parts of the story, and am beginning to worry that I won't fit it all into the month. I still need to write another four thousand words or so (I'm slow) and finish scripting the remainder of the battles and finish up the last of the graphic elements and attach music to everything and...
The most visible thing I've done in the last week is to put together final versions of a lot of the UI elements; the battle now is surrounded by a nice celtic-knotwork design, placed on a carved-green-stone background with knotwork, and there's a huge knot (which took a while at lunchtime at work to design) serving as camera-panning controls on the left. Did you get the idea yet that I quite like celtic knot designs?
The next-most visible thing I did was to add animations for attacks - so there's scuffles kicked up when there's a melee fight, and when archers fire there's a visible volley of arrows flying in a parabola arc towards the target (thanks to PyTom for a bit of help with the transform composition on that one). Unfortunately this isn't particularly obvious in screenshots, but trust me - it looks pretty cool in motion!
For those people interested in the engine itself, there's also several things that have been added over the course of the project that will make it back into the main engine project once I'm done. For example, I've added several improvements to the AI - not just the pathfinding that I mentioned before, but also extra options when setting up the fighter's behaviour. I've added a few more victory condition Extras to support Tristan missions, so it's now possible to have the battle end when a particular fighter is killed, or when a fighter reaches a particular square, without doing any extra programming. In the long run, I'd probably actually like to have a set of conditions (e.g. 'a fighter has been killed' or 'a fighter has reached a particular square') and a set of actions to take upon those conditions being met (e.g. 'the battle is won by this faction' or 'reinforcements arrive' or whatever). It'll probably take a little while after the end of March for the next version of the engine to be released, since I'll need to re-integrate some things which are presently part of the Tristan project (and I'll probably take some time to do a widescreen and/or Android version of Tristan), but the next Battle Engine release is not far away!